FAA Orders New Inspections of Boeing 737s to Prevent Fuselage Holes
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ordering $5 million in new inspections for Boeing 737s in response to a hole larger than a football that was torn in the roof of an aging Southwest Airlines plane during a flight in July 2009.
The FAA order calls for repetitive inspections for cracking in the top of the fuselage of 109 planes in the 300, 400 and 500 series. Most of these models are flown by Southwest in the U.S.
The more-thorough inspections for those planes are projected to cost up to a total of $5.2 million, and additional repairs could cost $17,765 per plane, according to the FAA.
The FAA reported no incidents involving the same fixtures since 2009 and the manufacturer, Boeing Co., completed hundreds of inspections worldwide "with few findings," according to a company spokesman.
The directive is the third of four that FAA is developing in response to the 2009 incident involving Southwest flight 2294 from Nashville to Baltimore, which made an emergency landing in Charleston, West Virginia.